Nigeria: World Cup Preview

Nigeria are already winners of the most important part of the World Cup, the honor of best kit in the World Cup. Even with the green and black chevrons grabbing your eye, don’t let that distract you from the attractive football that the Nigerian team will play with. Littered with top European club talent, Nigeria will capitalize on their immense pace and star power to hopefully escape what will be a super competitive group.

Group D:
– Argentina
– Croatia
– Iceland
– Nigeria

Some of the top class Nigerian players to watch for:

Ahmed Musa – The pace merchant up top got the majority of his playing time after a timely loan move to Russia from Leicester City in January this season. Joining CSKA Moscow, Musa netted a miraculous 6 goals and three assists in ten matches for the second place Russian League team. Musa will have defenders on their heels with his piercing runs and incredible speed. If Nigeria opt for a counter attack, count on Musa to be their man up top. Musa may not be a started but he can destroy a tired team as an impact sub.

Kelechi Iheanacho Another Leicester City man, Iheanacho joined West Ham from Manchester City last summer and slowly waded into Premier League starting life but got comfortable quick. Three goals and three assists in 21 league matches isn’t all that impressive, but the 21 year old versatile attacker also added four goals in 5 FA Cup matches. Nigeria will rely on him as a big game player, as his FA Cup form suggests, and be that offensive monster he can be.

John Mikel Obi – The long serving captain of the Nigerian international team, John Mikel Obi has played in an impressive 83 games for his home nation. The 31 year old midfielder is the heartbeat of his team, and with the likes of Wilfred Ndidi (yet another Leicester player) the central midfield will be solid. If experience counts for anything, Obi can use his immense CV to support his team on and off the pitch.

Nigeria have a pretty solid chance of duking it out with the rather equal level of competition within their group. Their game will definitely rely on their speed, but play makers like Alex Iwobi (Arsenal) and Victor Moses (Chelsea) add a lot of skill to the Nigerian attack on top of their pace. They may register as a dark horse, but don’t fall asleep on this team full of burners.

Iceland: World Cup Preview

So a dentist walks onto the biggest stage in International Football… no seriously. A nation of just over 300,000 people have seemingly done the impossible and put together a formidable international football squad, and yes their manager is a full time dentist. Establishing themselves in Euro 2016, Iceland made it to the Quarter finals where they lost out to France 5-2 but enjoyed victories over Austria and England, while drawing Hungary and Portugal along the way.

Group D:
– Argentina
– Croatia
– Iceland
– Nigeria

Players to watch for Iceland:

Gylfi Sigurdsson – Not only fun to day, Everton’s midfielder is the big name player on Iceland for the World Cup. He earned a big money transfer away from Swansea last summer after an impressive Premier League season and amazing Euro Cup run the year before. He is the wind beneath the wings of Iceland’s hopes, and is so so so good on the ball. He is tricky, slick, has great vision, and is deadly on dead balls or on shots outside the box. Gold star this guy, he’s fun to watch.

Johann Berg Gudmundsson – A boisterous midfielder on Burnley, the Premier Leagues shock team of the season last year, Gudmundsson will patrol the midfield along with Sigurdsson. He is very physical and not opposed to get up in the attacking play. Watch out for long shots as well, as he rarely shies away from an opportunity to put one on net for the Clarets.

Alfreð Finnbogason – This veteran striker managed three goals for Iceland in their qualifying matches, trailing Sigurdsson by only one for the team lead. He isn’t young, but is lively in the box as proved by his 12 goals in 22 games for Augsburg in the Bundesliga last season. He can capitalize on his midfielders to bang em in for the KSI squad.

In a surprisingly tough group Iceland will be hard-pressed to escape the group stage. Nigeria is a very fast team that can counter attack with pacey players like Iheanacho and Musa. While the Modric led Croatian team will hold possession with a strong midfield. Argentina are the odds on favorite to win the group, but as Messi and everyone who follow Argentina know, the foot of Gonzalo Higuain giveth and taketh away in the World Cup.

I say GO VIKINGS, and cheer them on, the only kink in their plan for World Cup domination and cavity eradication is the knee injury Gylfi Sigurdsson is battling. If he is fit then bet on him to lead Iceland out of the group stage.